GASPORT — Disregarding the final result of Tuesday afternoon's Class B-2 boys soccer pre-quarterfinal matchup between Roy-Hart and Wilson, both coaches agreed after the game that one factor emerged victorious: the wind.
Roy-Hart had the wind — which gusted up to 30 mph — at its back during the first half of regulation, dominating play and keeping the ball in the offensive end for much of the half. When the team switched sides for the second half, Wilson took control of the wind, and took control of the game.
The score was 1-1 after regulation, and remained that way after two 15-minute overtime halves. The wind wouldn't allow a winner until the tie-breaking five-man penalty kick shootout. Wilson won the shootout, 4-3, to win the game, 2-1.
Wilson moves on to face No. 2 Southwestern in the B-2 quarterfinals. For Roy-Hart, the season is over.
"Plain and simple, the wind was the winner in this game," Roy-Hart coach Barry Webber said. "If you didn't have the wind at your back, it didn't seem like you could do anything with the ball."
With the wind whipping right from the opening faceoff, Roy-Hart had the advantage for the first 40 minutes, taking advantage on a goal by Will Johnson, assisted by David Brooks.
Brooks was playing the left midfield position and dropped the ball back to Johnson, who was standing about 40 feet in front of the net. Feeling like he could get a good shot off with the wind at his back, Johnson kicked the ball over the head of Wilson goalie Stephen Lyman, into the back of the net. With 9:25 to play in the first half, Roy-Hart took the 1-0 lead, a score that held up until halftime.
After the intermission, the teams switched sides, and the Lakemen enjoyed the advantage of having the wind on their side. Wilson kept the ball in the offensive end for much of the second half's opening minutes, and it paid off with 22 minutes remaining in regulation.